NO one has ever used that term in reference to me, much less said it while looking into my eyes. Until today.
* * * *
Our dogs have been described as high maintenance, which is a kind way of saying accident prone. Some people have orchestra seats with their names etched on little brass plaques. Our dogs have endowed kennels at the animal emergency clinic.
I borrowed against the equity in my home after my daughter and her friend momentarily abandoned a quilting project they'd laid out on the floor. They'd threaded their own needles after their snack. Beagle-boy located the aroma of cheese sticks in a nano-second and sucked up a two foot length like a strand of spaghetti in the time it took me to say "drop it," which I momentarily forgot was beaglease for "gulp fast."
His mother was a springer spaniel, which may explain his ability to jump like a kangaroo and use the extraordinarily long (and prehensile) tongue he inherited from his bassett hound grandparent to snag a bag of Halloween candy containing every variety of miniature chocolate bar available in the greater Cleveland metropolitan area. He was generous enough to share with Clyde, the wonder dog, who returned from our next field trip to the house of pain with youthful activated charcoal streaks in his white schnauzer beard.
Lily, (aka Frankendog) survived the same injury as Barbaro, before losing the end of her tail in the dog door at the boarding kennel. I haven't gone on vacation since, for psychological as well as economic reasons.
* * * *
I'm accustomed to being embarrassed by nurses. Doctors have been, historically, a little nicer. The notable exception was the dermatologist who left the door to the examining room open after entering with his entourage of medical students, so those in the hall would appreciate why it's better to list your occupation as "teacher" than "lawyer" on the registration sheet.
"Here she is, in her birthday suit!" he boomed, extending his hand. I grabbed the paper sheet with my left hand and extended the other, while scanning the room in search of the hidden camera, hopeful Alan Funk would pop out sooner, rather than later.
"How are you, today, Counselor?"
The interns appeared quite interested in each others' shoes. Some of the audience in the hallway stood on tiptoe.
"I'll be better after you close the door," I said.
After the students completed recording their observations of every freckle and mole, which he pronounced "insignificant," he handed me a blue prescription slip. "You can get this at the pharmacy downstairs, before you leave," he advised.
"What's it for?" I asked. By now, nothing he could say would surprise me.
* * * *
The "new doctor" bears no resemblance to Doogie Howser, M.D. He's older than I am and realizes I know "high maintenance" means "needs more than wrinkle cream." At least I won't be tempted to spend the rebate I'll earn after filling all my prescriptions on hair color.